Bravelord as striker or defender

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I just started playing in a friend's long-running campaign, so I'm trying to refine this concept to synergize well with the group. We just hit level 11 at the last session.


Party composition (without my character):


1 Battlemind (Defender)


1 Warrior (Defender) --> Going to be replaced by Blackguard (striker)


1 Druid (Leader)


1 Controller


1 Avenger (Striker)


1 other striker


Total:


1 or 2 defenders


2 or 3 strikers


1 leader


1 controller


My character:


The character I'm building is a tiefling bravura warlord. I don't want to move from the warlord class, but I want to focus on the strikery or defendery elements over the healing and whatnot. Since one of our defenders is getting replaced by a striker in the future, the DM thinks I should focus on being a second defender, but I don't know when we're actually going to lose our second defender. To fulfill the role of defender, my idea is to use some of the unique characteristics of the bravelord to draw enemy attention away from my allies by making myself a better target.


I'm satisfied with my choice of powers, but if anyone has any suggestions I'll take those under advisement. I'm more concerned with which feats to take to increase my proficiency as either a striker or defender.


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 19, CON 16, DEX 9, INT 11, WIS 14, CHA 20

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 16, CON 13, DEX 8, INT 10, WIS 13, CHA 15


AC: 27 Fort: 22 Ref: 17 Will: 23
HP: 78 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 19

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +14, Diplomacy +21, Endurance +13, Insight +14, Intimidate +21

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +4, Arcana +5, Bluff +12, Dungeoneering +7, Heal +7, History +5, Nature +7, Perception +7, Religion +5, Stealth +6, Streetwise +10, Thievery +4

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Noble Utility: Noble Presence
Tiefling Racial Power: Infernal Wrath
Warlord Feature: Battlefront Shift
Warlord Feature: Inspiring Word
Multiple Class Utility: Defender Aura (This is pretty cool, I think)
Paladin Attack: Righteous Radiance
Warlord Attack 1: Furious Smash (I'm not a big fan of either of these at-wills, personally. Conceptually, I like them, but...)
Warlord Attack 1: Brash Assault
Warlord Attack 1: Luring Focus (To lure in enemies to attack me over my allies)
Warlord Attack 1: Fearless Rescue
Endurance Utility 2: Endure Pain
Warlord Attack 3: Dicey Predicament (As long as I'm going to be getting flanked...)
Warlord Attack 5: Stand the Fallen
Warlord Utility 6: Tempting Target (*waves arms* "Hey, hit me! Hit me!")
Warlord Attack 7: Sacrificial Lure
Warlord Attack 9: Dangerous Leader (This one ended up working pretty well, but I'm not married to it)
Endurance Utility 10: Enter the Crucible (My star power from the last encounter)
Turathi Highborn Attack 11: Bolts of Bedevilment

FEATS
Level 1: Disciple of Death
Level 2: Unfailing Vigor
Level 4: Heavy Blade Expertise
Level 6: Armored Warlord
Level 8: Squire of Righteousness
Level 10: Knightly Bearing


---------------------------------------------


I multiclassed into Cavalier for Defender Aura (pretty cool, I think), with the added bonus of getting access to the Knightly Bearing feat (+2 Diplomacy and Intimidate, which is fantastic for the character concept).


I picked Disciple of Death and Unfailing Vigor to make up for the fact that I'm probably going to get knocked down to 0 quite a bit with my reckless behavior but make it impossible for me to actually die (succeed on saving throws 75% of the time, spend a healing surge on a 13 or higher). I'm open to dropping one of them (probably Unfailing Vigor) for something else, though.


I haven't decided what feat I want for level 11 yet. 


------------------------------------------------


QUESTIONS


1) How could I make this character a more effective striker?


2) How could I make this character a more effective defender?


A) What should my level 11 feat be?


B) Is spending two feats on improving my death saving throws overkill?


C) Is there any redundancy in the character build that could be reduced or eliminated?


Let me know if you need any more info. Thanks in advance!

1) be a leader

2) don't

A) improved initiative, improved defenses, superior will...

B) yes, twice

C) yes, read the warlord handbook

You didn't ask, but please, pretty please, drop Wis for some sort of reflex defense, and NEVER drop Dex to below 10.
Of all your powers chosen, I would keep Stand the Fallen.
Not to be "that guy", but this build looks really bad. There are tools a Warlord can use to sub in for a Defender effectively, but you're not using them right now. Enticing people to attack you is only part of the equation - you also have to be able to punish them if they don't. For that, look into the Warlord's Interrupt power selection or consider multiclassing (Ranger in particular has a couple of good powers for this that don't have weapon requirements).

The second part is that since you're obviously not making a Cha-fueled enabling machine, Tiefling is an awful racial choice - you need something with more durability, like a Dwarf or a Goliath. Planning to get knocked down to 0 regularly is silly - instead, plan to protect yourself from that same situation. That means take a race that makes you tougher, and take feats that make you tougher - Toughness is a good choice given the context.

Thirdly, the power selection right now is pretty suboptimal - your main job is to make your allies better, and this build isn't doing that. Take powers that allow your allies to attack, such as Diabolic Stratagem, Commander's Strike, and Provoke Overextension - those will help you do your job.

Turathi Highborn is an almost painfully bad Paragon Path - don't take it (that is partially covered under "this build shouldn't be a Tiefling", but it's worth mentioning, in case your racial choice is locked).

Hm, thanks for the responses so far. It's a good thing I posted here before our next session.


Would a hybrid warlord/paladin (blackguard or cavalier) work well?

What could you possibly hoping to accomplish by such a hybrid ?


 EDIT: it's the Charisma focus that has me baffled.


The warlord can be an extremely powerful build / character. Please read the handbook.


What could you possibly hoping to accomplish by such a hybrid ?




To secretly bring down the party from within by being ineffective in combat. If there isn't a TPK in the next few sessions then I will consider my mission a failure.


BTW, I only put those points in WIS for Disciple of Death, so if I dropped that feat then I can put those points somewhere else.


EDIT: In case you were actually sincere in wanting to know my thought process, like I said above, I want to build a secondary defender or striker. The hybrid blackguard seemed pretty good for a striker in particular because of Dread Smite -- and if you take the Icy Clutch of Stygia feat (for tieflings), then the enemy takes extra damage based on your charisma when it saves against the ongoing damage from Dread Smite.


Having access to paladin powers also lets you mark things at-will or get THP at-will.


Not saying that it's the most optimal choice, but that's what I'm here to find out.



EDIT 2: Also, I'm in the process of reading the Warlord Handbook.

Here's the thing about being a off-defender Warlord, you can do it pretty easily with the Guardian Theme and Freedom Fighter Paragon Path. It's better than Turathi Highborn and the two interrupts also work nicely when someone else actually has the target marked.

And yeah, I'd change the race to Genasi, Dwarf, Goliath or Dragonborn. You'll never make a good sponge, but you'll be fine otherwise.
Here's the thing about being a off-defender Warlord, you can do it pretty easily with the Guardian Theme and Freedom Fighter Paragon Path. It's better than Turathi Highborn and the two interrupts also work nicely when someone else actually has the target marked.

And yeah, I'd change the race to Genasi, Dwarf, Goliath or Dragonborn. You'll never make a good sponge, but you'll be fine otherwise.



Interesting you mention the Freedom Fighter PP. I have played a few LFR sessions with a Tiefling Freedom Fighter Warlord | Cavalier Noble Theme. It's much more effective than I expected it to be. Someone joins you in your ridiculously high initiative (Noble L10U Urge to Action, Cav +4, Improv +4, Combat Leader +Cha for +6, Imperious Majesty use Cha instead of dex +6, at 12 roll two/three times and take your choice), three rounds of mass marks, your best striker is attacking instead of you. You absolutely should have Superior Will on a defender, IMHO. My initiative is high enough that I might drop Improved Initiative for Disciple of Freedom (more of a flavor thing I rarely do in LFR, but I did spend the first encounter with the charachter immobilized for the entire encounter).
In short, your attacks aren't going to be as damaging as your striker's attacks.  To put out striker level damage, use your strikers.  Focus on powers that enable your strikers to attack.  Things like Vengeance is Mine is an out of turn extra PAIR of attacks, on a painfully easy trigger.  As mentioned above, the Guardian theme can result in a double tap attack if you use it to steal an attack away from one of your defenders. 

As a warlord, your standard action every turn should involve causing allies to attack, or setting them up with some bonuses for when they do attack, or some combination thereof.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?

In short, your attacks aren't going to be as damaging as your striker's attacks.  To put out striker level damage, use your strikers.


For some reason, I hadn't thought of it that way. Wow. And I'm definitely taking Vengeance is Mine, probably in place of Dicey Predicament (you can pick a lower-level power in place of a higher-level one, right?)


What's better, Battlefront Leader or Combat Leader?



EDIT: Typos.


In short, your attacks aren't going to be as damaging as your striker's attacks.  To put out striker level damage, use your strikers.


For some reason, I hadn't thought of it that way. Wow. And I'm definitely taking Vengeance is Mine, probably in place of Dicey Predicament (you can pick a lower-level power in place of a higher-level one, right?)


What's better, Battlefront Leader or Combat Leader?



EDIT: Typos.




Combat Leader is typically the best option, unless you really need that Heavy Shield (such as being an off-defender who doesn't have access to a shield through Hybrid Talent). Your side going faster is a pretty good defense as well, and in Paragon you can take Expert Combat leader to add the higher of your Int or Cha.

The brash assault/ harlequin style is a great combo you could exploit well in your team. It makes an enemy attack you thus triggering defender's punishment and granting another player an MBA, all with a normal 1W+str from you ontop!
The brash assault/ harlequin style is a great combo you could exploit well in your team. It makes an enemy attack you thus triggering defender's punishment and granting another player an MBA, all with a normal 1W+str from you ontop!



Only if your DM doesn't understand tactics. Brash Assault doesn't force the enemy to take the MBA - it is their choice. Honestly, even if you don't have Harlequin Style, the enemy should simply never use the free MBA unless they think they have some kind of crazy advantage for some reason.
You mean like combat advantage which it grants?
 it was my understanding that monsters are far more likely to attack someone that they have combat advantage against.
You mean like combat advantage which it grants?
 it was my understanding that monsters are far more likely to attack someone that they have combat advantage against.



Creatures know the effects of the power that they're under. They should know that if they take the free attack, they're getting hit back as a result under the same conditions.

At the very minimum, any tactically aware creature should ask itself, "Wait a minute, why would he offer me this?" and at that point, they should realize that the Warlord hit them with a 1w+stat attack that offered no control, no extra damage, and no leading if they ignore the offer.

The Warlord did an attack that was strictly inferior to an MBA, almost any at-will or encounter. That's a sure win for the creature. When someone is doing really suboptimal play, you don't help them out. Brash Assault, if the creatures don't take the offer, is really suboptimal play.
Ah thats interesting, cause I've always played pretty much the opposite.

 The monsters know nothing and if i guy comes rushing over at them and over exends when he hits them leaving himself vulnerable, its definitely going to hit back (unless its particuarly clever or martially savvy) because that its nature as a creature.

 Similarily, the way i see a defenders mark working isnt that a monster is avoiding reprisal, it's that if a big ass fighter gets up in your face and is challenging you, your far more likely to attack him.

 I guess the effectiveness of brash assualt totally depends on how your DM sees things and how much your RPing the mechanics.
 I guess the effectiveness of brash assualt totally depends on how your DM sees things and how much your RPing the mechanics.




it is.  In the campiegn DMing I usually focus on inteligent, trained, organized foes for the PCs, when they go against animals, mindless undead, or a gaggle of rabble, they note how easy the combat is, even if the stats on two groups are similar or even the exact same.
And given that the rules actually go out and state that creatures are aware of the effects of any power they are subject to, it is thus entirely fair and proper that the creature subject to Brash Assault considers the implications of it - within the limits of what the DM decides is their personality.  As a DM, I would not have a savvy fighter take the bait - they know the downside.  I would also not have a slow and dumb zombie take the bait - they're too slow to even catch the upside.  But a feral gnoll in a rage would take very chance they got to strike consequence or not.
This conditionality illustrates why Brash Assault without Harlequin Style is simply not worth your time. Heck, it's only worth your time with Harlequin Style if you have a good supply of off-action powers so you can keep doing your job outside your turn (thankfully the Warlord does have access to those powers).
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